Canadian Mountain Holidays
In 1953, Hans Gmoser had saved enough to move to Banff, Canada and begin his career as a guide. Inspired by a new dream, and building on years of backcountry guiding experience, in 1959 Hans Gmoser formed a small company named Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH). His business prospered as he led thousands of skiers and climbers on many mountain treks. In April 1965, Hans was intrigued by an idea that some thought crazy but also seemed very practical. He began using helicopters to transport skiers high into the Mountains and Helicopter assisted skiing was born.
Helicopter Skiing History in the United States
The mountains surrounding the town of Ketchum were discovered in 1935 to be the ideal surroundings for a ski resort and the opening of the Sun Valley Resort followed just one year later. The same spectacular terrain and pioneering spirit of the region led to the founding of Sun Valley Heli-Ski Guides in 1966 by Bill Janss, the owner of Sun Valley Resort.
HSUS is Founded
In the early 1980’s a group of US Heli Ski operators started meeting annually on a very informal basis. The purpose of these meetings was to exchange various ideas, thoughts and information that would help each operator. At this time there were no standards for operation. It was through these meetings that the Heli-Ski US Association was eventually formalized as a 501C corporation and thus began a more formal approach to the development of standards and protocols for helicopter skiing activities within the US. Many of the standards where already in place from the reputable Canadian operators and now HSUS is also an affiliate member of HeliCat Canada sharing many of the very same standards.